The Phillies performed a 40-man roster cleanup on Wednesday afternoon and two of the players that were removed have landed with new organizations.
Raul Valdes, a left-handed reliever who posted a 7.46 ERA in 35 innings this season for Philadelphia, has been claimed by the Astros and Tyler Cloyd, a 26-year-old starting pitcher who had a 6.56 ERA in 60 1/3 innings this year with Philly, has been picked up by the Indians. You can expect more minor moves like this throughout the month of October. These players are not eligible for postseason rosters.
Some other notable transactions from Wednesday: the Astros added first base prospect Jonathan Singleton to their 40-man roster and officially declined Philip Humber’s $3 million club option for the 2014 season.
ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.
After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”
Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.
Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.
For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.